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Aircraft and transport. IATA: weak air freight demand continues in March

The sector faces significant headwinds

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), increased 0.1% in March 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. While this is a significant improvement on the 4.9% contraction in February, in seasonally adjusted terms, demand is still down 1.5% over the past year.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 3.1% year-on-year in March 2019. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for 11 out of the last 12 months.

Demand for air cargo continues to face significant headwinds:

Global trade volumes have fallen by 1% over the past year;

Global economic activity and consumer confidence continue to weaken;

And the export order component of the global manufacturers Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) has indicated falling global export orders since September 2018.

Industry confidence regarding the outlook, however remains relatively upbeat with only 13% of respondents from IATA’s Business Confidence Survey expecting to see a decrease in freight volumes in 2019 compared to 2018.

Regional Performance

 All regions reported year-on-year demand growth in March 2019, except Asia-Pacific which contracted.

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